Recipe: Carrot cakes

I’m sorry this blog has been so neglected recently. I was away for a couple of weeks or so, but since then I have really had no excuse. I just haven’t felt very motivated to write anything this week. Being back at work was disorientating, more so than I expected it to be. However, it is now the weekend, so I’ve decided that I can’t leave this blog to its fate any longer and I’m going to attempt to write something Malaysia and Singapore-related.

I wasn’t sure how to write about Malaysia, whether I should just copy out chunks of my diary or pick a theme, or tackle it in some other way. In the end I decided for ‘the other way’ option and have decided to just pick out things of interest or amusement and write about those, rather than going for the narrative approach.

As you can see from the title of this post, I have decided to write about carrot cake for my first Malaysia-related post. Food featured heavily in our holiday. I could probably write all of my posts about food if I wanted to, but it might get a bit much. Anyway, the carrot cake. Firstly, we experienced a traditional western-style carrot cake, as baked by Mr C using his mum’s recipe and with ‘assistance’ from me. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
3 eggs
1 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup of cooking oil
1 1/3 cups of flour
1/2 a teaspoon of salt
1 1/3 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
1 1/3 teaspoons  of baking power
1 1/3 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 cups of grated raw carrot
1/2 cup of nuts
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

(Or use brown sugar instead of white and coconut instead of nuts. This is what we did).

Method
1. Grease a square 8″ tin
2. Heat the oven to 150°C
3. Beat the eggs and sugar together until frothy
4. Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon together
5. Stir the sifted dry ingredients into the beaten eggs and sugar
6. Fold in the carrot, nuts and vanilla essence
7. Bake for one hour
8. Ice when cool (for icing see below)

Icing
Mix together 4oz of cream cheese, 250g of icing sugar, 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.

I can’t remember what I actually contributed in terms of assistance, but I remember hanging around the kitchen trying to look useful. It turned out very nicely in the end and was eaten over several evenings along with many other cakes which appeared over the course of the holiday. I’m not sure how we managed to accumulate so many cakes, but it was probably due to the plethora of birthdays and celebrations that took place over the time we were in Malaysia.

Chinese-style carrot cake is another kettle of fish altogether. The first Chinese carrot cake I tried bore no resemblance to cake at all, but it was very tasty. I think that what we ate on that occasion was probably this version or similar, as it wasn’t actually in cake form. I’m not sure whether the version we ate actually contained any carrots – some versions don’t! The second time we ate Chinese carrot cake it bore more resemblance to a cake, although it was cut into small pieces. I’m sure it had prawns in so I think that this is probably fairly close to the right recipe for making what we ate.

If you try any of the recipes I hope you enjoy them. I will definitely try and make the western-style carrot cake again in the fairly near future and plan to try making Chinese carrot cake at some point when I’m feeling more adventurous, although I’m not sure whether white carrots are  available in the UK!

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